A house the city, and a city in the house
Fourth year • 2013 • Paris La Villette School of Architecture
Objectives : After reading a book from Henry Miller, the work was to create a house to the image of the writer’s personnality, and imagine the needs of a client that we would invent. I pointed out the notion of fragmentation, and the fact that the streets were his shelter to create my project.
"The streets were my shelter.
And no one can understand the magic of the streets until he was forced to seek shelter, until it became the straw tossed in here and there by the slightest breeze. Passing along a street by a winter's day and seeing a dog for sale, one is moved to tears. (...)
My world of human beings had perished, I was absolutely alone in the world, and I had streets as my only friends, and the streets were telling me this sad and bitter language of human misery, of desire, of regret, of failure, of wasted effort. "
Building up an idea
At first, we had to make an artistic interpretation of Henry Miller’s mind. I thought that a broken tile would be a good representation for his fragmented writing, and this piece of cuted wood could represent his flaws. While reading Tropic of Cancer, I noticed how much the description fo Paris and its streets was important to the writer, and that he spent most of his time there. He even writes «the streets were my shelter». It’s from these tree notions that I thought the house.
I used the broken tile for main lines of the plan, and the piece of wood as an inspiration for the facades. For the program, I decided that the client would be a photographer and would, as Henry Miller was, be inspired for his work from the streets.
In this house, I wanted to make the resident feel like Henry Miller felt. So I decided to create a strong network of hallways (roads), to make people walk along the rooms (buildings).
Nature & Architecture : Hybridity
From the idea to the project
Ground floor view
First floor view
Ground floor plan
First floor plan
View of the patio, from the living room
View of the living room, from the patio
A grid of light
For the rooftop, I played with the structure and created a grid of concrete beams, that would follow the hallways and let the light come from the top.
Network of beams + Zenithal openings + Rooftop cover = The Project